27 January 2015

BSF 2014-2015: Leviticus 25-27

The last three chapters of Leviticus focus on rest, freedom and restoration. God is preparing His people to be consecrated to Him before they enter the Promised Land.

When the Israelites enter the Promised Land, God commands them to work the land for six years then rest the land for one year. They could eat what the land produces naturally during the sabbath year of rest, but they could not systematically work and harvest the land themselves during that year. God was going to provide and feed all of the Israelites, their Gentile slaves and their livestock.

During this sabbath year of rest not only does the land rest but debts are cancelled, Israelite slaves are freed and priests teach the people about God. God is teaching the Israelites to be dependent on Him.

God calls the fiftieth year Jubilee, another sabbath year of rest. Debts are cancelled, people return to their hometowns and families and land returns to the families. The focus of Jubilee is rest and restoration for the people and their land. God is teaching the Israelites that He owns their land and possessions.

God also commands the Israelites to help the poor by not taking advantage of them and by loaning funds to them (not providing a handout).

In chapter 26, God promises rewards if the Israelites do not make idols, observe the Sabbath and revere His sanctuary. But He also promises punishment if the Israelites do not obey His commands. The choice is theirs (and ours today!) – do we want rewards or punishment?

And chapter 27 tells the Israelites that the things they dedicated to God could be redeemed for a price. People, possessions and property were redeemable gifts. But the firstborn among the animals and the tithe could not be redeemed because they already belonged to God.

To redeem is to rescue with a ransom. Jesus purchased me from the marketplace of sin. He paid the price for me to be redeemed from my sinful lifestyle. He is my owner, and I am His treasured possession. Can you say this about Jesus?

Things to Think About

  • The people had to trust God to provide during the sabbath year, during the Jubilee year and during the following year as the people begin working the land again.
  • God wants to increase my faith in Him just like He increased the Israelites’ faith through the sabbath year and the Jubilee.
  • How can I help others in need with the things God has entrusted to me?
  • The purpose of God’s punishment is to cause us to repent and return to Him.
  • God expects us to keep our commitments to Him. Which commitments have I made to God? Am I keeping them?